When you are looking at buying a wake boat, Axis Wake is a brand that stands out because of its favorable price.
Which begs the question: Can an affordable boat also be good? Is it really reliable?
Here’s How Good Axis Wake Boats Are:
Axis boats are well-built entry-level wake boats built by Malibu. They are affordable because they are stripped down to the performance essentials, leaving out bells, whistles, and other luxuries. However, design and manufacturing processes are still of high quality.
What Is A Wake Boat?
Towed water sports generally require a specialized boat.
In particular, wakeboarding and wake surfing necessitate boats that can produce large waves; wakeboarding needs the waves for aerial maneuvers, while wake surfing needs them to sustain their speed.
A wake boat specializes in the creation of waves favorable to these two sports. This is accomplished by a combination of hull design and ballast, which displaces water into waves.
Wake boats also have the ability to adjust the waves further by adjusting trim tabs and shifting ballast. Their propellers are under the hull rather than at the stern for safety.
Wake boats and the associated sports have grown in popularity over the last decade, leading to a resurgence in this part of the boating industry.
What Are Axis Wake Boats?
The Axis Wake brand was started by Malibu Boats in 2009.
The idea was to capitalize on the growing sports of wakeboarding and wake surfing by creating a quality entry-level boat. The same quality Malibu design and construction would be applied, but everything not essential would be dropped.
The line has developed with feedback from both professional water sportsmen and more casual owners. Over time they incorporated popular features from the Malibu line like their Surf Gate and Power Wedge III.
Axis Wake currently touts their Wake Plus Hull design and their Performance Surf Package(PSP).
The hull design is deep with a lot of deadrise angle to put a lot of hull in the water for maximum wave displacement.
The PSP combines the Surf Gate, which allows you to adjust your water ballast amount and placement, and the Power Wedge III, which adjusts the wave height from steep to mellow at the touch of a button.
Older Axis models had this feature as a manual adjustment, but it was changed to electronic due to feedback.
How Reliable Are Axis Boats?
Owner reviews are an invaluable resource when gauging the quality of a boat.
Though it has only been around for a decade, the Axis Wake line has garnered mostly positive feedback in terms of reliability. The lack of luxuries and extras does not work against these boats.
In fact, many owners cite the lack of excessive electronics and other luxuries as a positive element in Axis’ reliability. There are fewer things that can break down.
As one owner said, “I don’t care about all of the electronics, in fact, I prefer NOT to have them. More to go wrong, more expensive to fix. I like a boat that’s easy.”
It is worth mentioning here that of those owners who have had multiple Axis boats over the years, most point to a general increase in quality.
They are hesitant to say anything negative about their earlier models, but they want to point out that Axis keeps “upping their game.”
How Durable Are Axis Boats?
The general impression is that Axis Wake boats are durable and not just in comparison against others in the same price range.
The emphasis is on the quality of construction at the Malibu plants, as Axis Wake boats are manufactured with the same processes as the more expensive Malibus.
In terms of raw numbers, one wakeboarding instructor at a summer camp reports using their Axis A20s for 8 hours a day all through the summer. At the end of the summer, they would trade them in to a dealer, and by that time, they would have 600+ hours of use on them.
The dealer would have no problem re-selling them, turning them around almost immediately.
These kinds of stories are not uncommon for Axis Wake.
Even though they have been around a short time, they have acquired a reputation for durability.
What About Older Axis Boats?
The oldest Axis models are not that old, so it is difficult to say if older models are less reliable or durable than comparable models from other manufacturers.
Most owners have good things to say about the older models, even those who have sold or traded them to get a newer model. It is fairly easy to find older models for sale, given how many have been made.
It is also easy to find owners of older models who will not part with them. Axis has generated a lot of brand loyalty among their owners, and given their relatively brief existence, that is likely because of the quality they have put in from day one.
Do They Still Make Parts For Older Models?
Since Axis Wake has only been in existence since 2009, many of the older parts are still being manufactured.
The best place to check is malibuparts.com.
They have been partnered with Malibu Boats for over 15 years and handle all retail parts sales.
Other parts may be found at the online retailers bakesonline.com and activewake.com. Propellers can be found at wakemakers.com.
Some difficult-to-find parts may be found directly from dealers, who often acquire a stock of out-of-production parts. You may have to do a lot of searching. The dealer list from the Axis Wake website is the best place to start.
What Are Typical Problems With Axis Boats?
Some owners have complained about fuel consumption.
Specifically, there is a claim that the surf gates and the wedge can act as an “anchor,” requiring more fuel to go at higher speeds. This opinion was not widely shared, however.
A few owners have had problems with the O2 sensors on their engines, but these have been the older L3 Monsoon engines. These problems are not reported for the current M5Di and M6Di Monsoon engines.
A few recent A22s and A24s have had some electrical problems, such as the Service Engine Light being on constantly. They do report the dealers are great to work within getting the problem solved.
Some earlier models had other electrical problems like lights not working, but that warranty work was satisfactory.
However, all the reported problems, even the electrical, do not show a recurring pattern and seem to be isolated incidents, such as a single wiring mistake at the factory.
It is difficult to label any of these problems as being typical.
How Long Do Axis Boats Last Compared To Similar Brands?
For boats of a similar age, Axis boats seem to last just as well, if not better.
There are not enough years to get a solid baseline, given Axis’ relatively brief existence, but there is no reason to believe that they will not last as long as comparable brands.
Given that they are made with their more-expensive counterparts Malibu in the same factories, using the same manufacturing processes, it is reasonable to assume they will have similar longevity to more expensive models.
Time will tell their actual longevity, but given their manufacturing standards and the fact that they are still going strong (Axis Wake is the 4th-best selling brand in the world), we can expect to see older models lasting for quite a while.
Do Axis Boats Hold Their Value?
Nearly all boats depreciate, sadly, from the first day you take them onto the water.
You will almost certainly not sell your $100,000 boat for the same price four years from now.
Despite this sad fact, Axis Wake boats seem to hold their value well, relative to other makes and models, even their parent Malibu.
This is because they are relatively affordable to begin with, and given their stripped-down features, there is less chance for failures down the line.
As always, the care taken of the boat affects its current value. Leaving a boat uncovered to the elements and salt in the engine do things that require extensive repair work. Garage-kept and well-maintained boats always have higher resale value.
The location has a lot to do with this. If your local market is flooded with old Axis boats for sale, their value will be lower.
In general, Axis Wake boats hold their value well against similar and even more luxurious wake boats.
Are Axis Boats Still Being Made?
The Axis Wake line of boats is still going strong.
The boats are made in the Malibu plants in the USA and Australia. Currently, there are five models of wake boats being made.
The A20, A22, and A24 models have a deck boat design forward for maximum passenger capacity. They are 20, 22, and 24 feet long, respectively.
The T22 and T23 are newer designs. They have the traditional pointed bows of a runabout. The T22 is 22 feet long, and the T23 is 23.5 feet long.
Malibu Monsoon engines power axis Wake boats. This is a unique factor of Axis (and Malibu): having their engine manufacturing done in-house.
These in-house engines make quality control easier and more convenient for the owners, as they do not have to go through a third party if they need any work done on the boat.
Axis Wake boats come with a five-year unlimited warranty. While a five-year warranty is about the standard in the industry now, an unlimited warranty is not. It is a testament to the company’s confidence in its product.
Designed as entry-level wake boats by parent company Malibu Boats, Axis has built its own loyal following because they do not compromise in the construction and support, only in the luxuries and extras that many do even miss.
Based on this, it is easy to say that Axis is both reliable and good.